Monday, October 11, 2010

BYU Football, well, sucks. Please do better.

The following is an editorial that I wrote for the Scroll. Found it quite entertain

As all those who follow college football or have parents who's alma mater is BYU will know that BYU decided to go independent in the realm of NCAA football. And it now looks like it wasn't the best plan afterall.

For those who don't have a clue what this means, it is something big. It is something that can change the future of college football team forever.

BYU has been a part of the NCAA-affiliated Mountain West Conference (MWC) for a while. What this meant is that BYU would always play conference teams every year and also had to abide by MWC conference rules.

But BYU wanted better. The problem with BYU being in the MWCs was that BYU was often stuck playing, well, not so great teams. The MWC has very few nationally ranked teams compared to other conference.

The other problem BYU had was the MountainWest Sports Network. In 2006, the MWC had a conflict with ESPN over scheduling and financial compensation so later that year they created their own sports network.

This network they have started has been one of the biggest frustration that the MWC has had from their schools and fans. First off, the network is only available in eight state hindering national exposure for the schools in the conference. Secondly, the network is hard to find. For instance there are only two providers in Idaho, one being Project Mutual Telephone. Ever heard of it? Didn't think so.

So with these factors in mind, BYU decided it was time for a change of scenery and left the MWC to become a football independent. This means that they are no longer affiliated with any conference and are able to more freely choose their future.

As the reason behind the change, the Scroll recently quoted BYU president Cecil O. Samuelson at a press conference saying, "contrary to some speculation, a driving force in our deliberations has been to secure broad nationwide access to our games and contests for our large national following."

But with freedom comes responsibility. To have ESPN broadcast games, they need to have good opponents, often ranked teams. In addition, those ranked teams have to want to play them and BYU needs to be good enough.

And that is the problem. BYU football has been abysmal this season. The team is currently 1-4. They started out the season well with a 23-17 win over Washington but have lost every game since. This included a humiliating loss to Utah State 31-16, a team that hasn't had a winning season in a long time.

BYU is currently ranked 114th out of 120 for points scored. For rushing and passing yards, they are ranked 94th and 80th, respectively.
These statistics, and others as well, are all worse than lowly Utah State who, during the 2001 and 2002 seasons, tried being an independent. And failed miserably, pleading for an invite to the Western Athletic Conference which they got two year later.

So if BYU wants to be successful in their independent run, they need to do a lot better. They need to meet that responsibility if they have hopes of making this work, taking the BYU football program to a new level. But right now the picture doesn't look good at all.

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